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Hear, hear: the pear


Pears have a good combination of a sweet and luscious taste with a nutritional profile that is low in fat, sodium and calories. The recipe below may add a few calories, but once you taste it, you'll agree it's a worthwhile indulgence.

Strawberry poached pears

Makes 6 servings

1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

6 large pears, peeled and cored

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

whipped cream for garnish

In a blender, combine the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar, blending until smooth.

Peel pears, leaving stems intact, and core from the opposite end. Arrange the pears in a baking dish with the stems toward the

center and pour the strawberry mixture over the pears.

Cover with waxed paper and microwave on high for 4 minutes.

In a cup, combine the cornstarch and water, then mix into the pears and strawberry sauce. Turn the pears over and spoon the strawberry sauce over them.

Cover and microwave on high another 4 minutes or until fork tender. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Remove 1 cup of the strawberry sauce and heat in the microwave until boiling. Remove from the microwave and add the chips. Let stand until the chips have melted. Stir the sauce until smooth.

Reheat the pears in the microwave on medium heat. Transfer the pears to individual serving dishes, and spoon the remaining sauce over the pears; then spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chocolate sauce on top. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

From "The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook" by Kitty and Lucian Maynard

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